Music Technology…composing radio adverts and songs with Audio Recorder

IMG_3047Using music technology to create music is both fun and exciting for students. This year at RPS we have been focusing on music technology on our Ipads, using Audio Recorder. Audio Recorder is a program within Garage Band. This has to be one of the most user friendly music programs available and it’s user friendly status allows young students to easily project their ideas into a song or radio advert.


The radio advert project was designed to teach students how to record live sounds and also import pre-recorded sounds. The advert had to have the following sections:

  • A music jingle, simple and effective.
  • A call sign (Where the radio station name is announced).
  • The basic message: ‘We are a healthy school”.
  • The secondary message (an explanation of the healthy school project)
  • A sign off: ‘this was bought to you by Rangeway Radio Station”

Students then learned to edit their advert by cutting and pasting their recorded sounds and adding effects. Finally the advert was mixed. The project took 5 weeks and many students completed a very good advert and demonstrated all of the advert sections.

IMG_1818Assessment included students writing a brief log of their ideas, discussion and the final advert.  A big focus of the project was mutual respect for each others music, the exchanging of ideas and collaboration.   I was very surprised with the end results and how quickly students took to the program and began to master the editing features. I believe we may have some budding Mark Ronsons ready to unleash their talents on the World.

Composing A Song- SONGWRITING

Stage two of student music technology development is the song writing project. Composing a radio advert taught students how to use the Audio Recorder software and now they are ready to start composing songs. The emphasis of this project is song structure and the sections of a band.

Students need to include:

  • Drums (RHYTHM)
  • Bass line
  • guitar/Keyboards (CHORDS/MELODY)
  • Singing (VOCALS)

At this stage they are learning about song styles and experimenting with sounds. Experimenting and collaborating are essential skills for any musician. We enjoy watching the students explore, and the excitement when they discover new ideas and hear their ideas come to fruition.

Students busily trying different ideas and discussing sounds




We look forward to updating this blog with some completed student songs.

George Scicluna

Music/Arts Teacher


ACMF funded Ukuleke/Singing Lower Primary Project.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.56.42 pmScreen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.56.09 pm Rangeway PS was successful in gaining funding from the Australian Children’s Music Foundation to employ a music teacher for 4 hours a week to teach the ukulele and singing to some of our year 1-3 students. David ‘UJ’ Stinson is our visiting musician and teaches the classes under the guidance of our Rangeway teacher Miss Tam Lee. The first term has been extremely successful with students performing in our end of term assembly, singing and playing the Australian classic: Kookaburra.

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Davis ‘UJ’ Stinson teaching the ukulele. Some year 1-3 classes have Mr Stinson and Miss Lee teach them the ukulele and singing. We now have a lunchtime uke/singing ensemble with the aim of performing throughout the year. The Ukulele and singing programs are essential for our young student’s to develop two important areas of their musicianship: the voice, and playing an instrument. By learning the ukulele at such a young age, student’s learn to strum rhythms and play chords confidently. Singing teaches pitch and tone and gives students confidence.

The next step for the students is to progress to a larger choir and to move onto the guitar in middle primary.

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Young RPS students learning the ukulele.

A big thank you to the ACMF who have funded this project until the end of 2015 with a view to extending into next year. We are hoping to gain extra funding to ensure that all year 1-3 classes can be a part of this exciting program. Rangeway Primary School firmly believes that The Arts are an essential part of a child’s learning and development. I am very happy that RPS supports this vision with the resources and funding such as the didgeridoo lessons and a music room full of instruments, not to mention the many art and music workshops we have visiting our school every year. Our student’s are spoiled…and so they should be!

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Indi-Genius at the Geraldton Reconciliation Concert 2015/My Schools A Star and Sinosteel Success.

Reconciliation Concert 2015

Reconciliation Concert 2015

Above is a short excerpt form the 2015 Reconciliation Concert. This is the second year running that indi-Genius have been asked to open the reconciliation concert. We were very proud to perform two songs and the boys were excited to perform on a large stage in front of a large audience. The experience of sound checking and practising like a professional band was awesome. We got some fantastic photo’s and live footage. The footage filmed by Miss Lee was used as part of our My Schools A Star state school competition that we won with a prize of $10 000.  The money will be used to fund next years didgeridoo lessons, part fund the trip to Perth in November and future projects.

This year has seen the didge group triple in size and with the program about to include years 1 and 2 this year could be very productive for the ensemble.

Our Schools A Star link:

Indi-Genius: Rangeway Primary School Didgeridoo Program


         Rangeway PS enjoying a masterclass.

Rangeway PS Students enjoy a masterclass with didge teachers Robert and Rolan. Students learn the basics techniques including playing a ‘drone’, animal sounds and the ‘voice’ sound.

Bluff Point PS Students enjoying a masterclass.

Rangeway Primary Schools Indi-Genius program provides year 2-6 boys with weekly didgeridoo lessons and the opportunity to be in the Indi-Genius didge group, that performs public performances on a regular basis. Under the guidance of didgeridoo teachers Robert and Rolan ,and coordinator George Scicluna. Students learn the basic technique of the didgeridoo and the tapping sticks. The Indi-Genius program is for indigenous and non indigenous boys, focusing on a respect for culture.

Each year, with the help of local indigenous organisations and sponsors such as Sinosteel, Rangeway Primary organises masterclasses for students from other schools to attend. This year in term two, we ran two days of masterclasses and several schools including: Bluff Point PS, Beachlands PS, John Willcock College, Geraldton Endeavour Centre, Yalgoo School and Allendale PS.


Yalgoo School Students


Geraldton Endeavour Centre

Above are pictures from the masterclass workshops. Students from Yalgoo School and The Geraldton Endeavour Centre enjoy lessons.

Part of the Indi-Genius program is to provide didgeridoo lessons for the community. We work very closely with Bundiyarra Aboriginal Corporation  Monday evening lessons are based at Bundiyarra and open to any males wishing to learn the didge and tapping sticks. Robert and Rolan teach from 5.30-6.30pm. We supply some didgeridoos for the lesson.

Western Australian Education Awards 

Indi-Genius will be performing at the West Australian Education Awards on Monday 30th November. This will be part of a three day trip for the group who will perform in Fremantle, visit Perth tourist destinations, visit Didgeridoo Breathe, a didgeridoo shop in Fremantle and have some masterclass lessons. It will be a very exciting weekend and we plan to take up to 25 students.

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ABC Studio Interview and Recording

Three of the Indi-Genius students were invites to the Midwest ABC Radio studio for n interview and to perform live. After the visit, I took the boys across the road to the new Geraldton Visitor Centre and they played some didge and took in the sights.


Armani, Heathen and Neamo outside the Geraldton Visitor Centre.

Learning African Drumming and Percussion

African Percussion 1

Students at Rangeway Primary School are currently learning African percussion. as part of the program students learn to play the basic percussion instruments including the djembe, shekere (shaker), cowbell, African bell and dundun. After learning the basic instrument technique, students play simple rhythms together as a class. Stage two of the program involves students composing rhythms in small groups using the African instruments. We hope to make a small percussion ensemble. Last year the Rangeway PS Samba Band performed at the Geraldton Schools Showcase.

African Percussion 3

Students composing music in small groups.


How lucky we are to be able to make music in beautiful weather, even as the building works go on next door.

As part of composing, students have to focus on a simple structure to their music and each performance should have  a beginning, middle and end. In the beginning, this was difficult for some groups, but the more they communicated and talked about their music, the better the compositions became. We look forward to more great music compositional work. Our next focus will be music technology and composing songs.